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Inland Empire Community Adopts the “Village” Concept for Their High School Students

IEABSE college reveal

FONTANA, CA- A morning full of inspirational family support, community pride and student celebration. The Inland Empire Alliance of Black School Educators (IEABSE) presented “It Takes a Village” 2016 Scholarship Celebration on Saturday April 16 at the Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Center in Fontana. With the room filled to capacity, over forty scholarships were awarded to Inland Empire High School students for their academic achievements, community service, perseverance and leadership. This event was sponsored by Black Voice Foundation and New Life Christian Church. The scholarship donors were comprised of local organizations and businesses as well as individuals who desire to see Inland Empire students thrive in their educational aspirations. Long time scholarship donor Dina Walker, President of BLU Educational Foundation, stated “Saturday’s ceremony was philanthropy at its best! We see businesses, community, faith-based organizations and individuals contributing to secure the educational futures of our children”.

Mayor Acquanetta Warren of Fontana welcomed the audience to the growing city of Fontana and gave an encouraging message that focused on working together as a community to use education as a tool to attract resources to the Inland Empire region. The highlight of the morning was a series of what IEABSE has coined the “Reveals”. This is a similar process to when a student athlete selects their college choice on national signing day. IEABSE highlighted five stellar students from the entire group of scholarship awardees. Each student was joined on stage by family members and their most influential educators. On the table were their top four college considerations. Their parents began by talking about their children’s challenges, achievements and special qualities. In the short time the parents spoke the audience had an opportunity to peer into the lives of the students and identify with the awesome importance of their future educational decisions. As the anticipation rose to a height, the student was given the microphone and either unrolled a diploma or reported their choice to and audience of cheers.  Audience members were both impressed and inspired. “This was an epic and historic celebration of black youth achievement in the classroom, in life and at play. I found the entire experience moving, inclusive, & inspirational celebration of black youth achievement.” Rev Benita Ramsey, Jordan- Rustin Social Justice fund.

IEABSE board with checks

IEABSE board with checks

Inland Empire high school administrators, teachers, coaches and counselors were also on hand to encourage their students and celebrate in their triumphs. “The reveals were exceptional, allowing both parents and students to speak and key supporters to be acknowledged” Linda Wing, Ph.D. Chief of Information and Accountability. Rancho Cucamonga High School, Arlington High School and Summit High School seniors walked away with fifteen of the forty-three scholarship opportunities. The goal of the Scholarship Celebration was to offer family members, educators and community members an opportunity to celebrate and focus on the accomplishments of local African American students. The ceremony left students motivated, parents hopeful, and donors reassured.  Gwen Dowdy-Rodgers, Founder, Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YWE) and parent of a prior recipient declared “With so many of our students needing educational support Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation was happy to be able to provide a deserving student a scholarship thanks to IEABE’s community outreach”.

The Scholarship Celebration precedes the IEABSE annually hosted Inland Empire High School Black Graduation Recognition Ceremony (I.E. Black Grad). The I.E. Black Grad is the largest High School Black Graduation Recognition Ceremony in Southern CA and will be held May 14th, 2016, on campus at California State University, San Bernardino, where over two thousand individuals are expected to attend. For more information please contact IEABSE directly at ieabse@gmail.com.

A Night to Remember

Time For Change Gala

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- It was a night of glitz and glam as Time for Change Foundation (TFCF) held their 13th Annual Star Studded Awards Gala to recognize unsung community heroes, and to celebrate their success in helping over 850 homeless women and children reach self-sufficiency over the last 14 years.

The night began on the red carpet where guests stopped to strike a pose followed by comedic opening remarks from Mistress of Ceremonies Actress/Comedienne Kim Coles. “I thought Time for Change meant menopause.”

6ef695b0-241c-41dc-b2a4-b9cb81ce0517The room was filled with elected officials, law enforcement, school board members, local businesses, and community organizations throughout the region. Special guest celebrity Taylor Schilling, actress of the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, dazzled the room with her acceptance of TFCF’s first ever “Acting for Change” Award.

Other awe-inspiring community heroes recognized included: Kim & Tommy Morrow with the Hometown Media Heroes Award, Dr. Tomás D. Morales with the Community Education Champion Award, SB Strong First Responders with the Ramos Family Spirit of Compassion Award, the Black Chamber of Commerce Inland Empire & the Greater Riverside Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with the Community Chamber Champions Award, Dr. Dale Marsden & Dr. Harold Vollkommer with the Public Education Dynamic Duo Award, Caliber Collision with the Community Business Leader of the Year Award, Senator Connie Leyva with the Public Service Champion Award, Manal Iskander with the Community Champion Award, and Alaina Mathews with the Humanitarian of the Year Award.

TFCF’s track record proves that consistent efforts, compassion and evidence based programs can transform the lives of homeless women and children and put an permanent end to their cycle of homelessness. However, they know that the work that they do is a community effort.

You can join in the efforts to end homelessness today by supporting the mission of TFCF  by making a financial contribution. For additional information, please visit our website www.TimeForChangeFoundation.org or call us at (909) 886-2994.


Nominees For Annual Education Medal Of Honor Announced

SAN BERNARDINO – In recognition of their contributions to public education in San Bernardino County, 35 nominees in six categories for this year’s Education Medal of Honor have been announced.

The nominees will compete to be chosen for the 25th annual awards, and six recipients of those nominated for the Education Medal of Honor will be announced at a banquet on April 28 in Fontana at the Sierra Lakes Country Club.

Nominations for the Education Medal of Honor were made in six categories: Volunteer in Action/Community Volunteer; Volunteer in Action/Service Group; Partners in Education/Small Business or Franchise; Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency; Excellence in Education/Education Professional; and Excellence in Education/Student Alumni.

The Education Medal of Honor program is sponsored by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, the County School Boards Association and the County Communicators Network. School public relations professionals in Riverside County are judging this year’s entries.

For more information, contact the County Schools’ Communications office at 909.386.2413.

San Bernardino County 2016 Education Medal of Honor Nominees

Alta Loma School District

Judith Bach, assistant principal at Vineyard Junior High, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Chaffey Joint Union High School District

Josh Atkinson, student at Los Osos High School, Volunteer in Action/Community Volunteer

Jennifer Nicastro, English teacher and California Scholarship Federation advisor at Los Osos High, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Chino Valley Unified School District

Lisa Lista, teacher, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Robert Mount, teacher at Ruben Ayala High, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Kevin Russell, teacher at Ruben Ayala High, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Colton Joint Unified School District

Bertha Arreguin, director III of Language Support Services, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

City of Colton, Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency

Mirza Andrade-Martinez, mental health specialist for Mental Health Systems Central Valley Prevention Program, Volunteer in Action/Service Group

Susie Garcia-Torres, parent volunteer at Walter Zimmerman Elementary, Volunteer in Action/Community Volunteer

Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program

Laura Bowden, K16 coordinator for ESRI, Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency

Conrad Calbes and David Jaffe, recreational coordinators for Redlands Community Center, Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency

Anita Nava, office manager of Allstate Insurance Co., Partners in Education/Small Business or Franchise

Cherie Towers, director of volunteer services at Redlands Community Hospital, Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency

Ross Veckey, agency owner of Farmers Insurance, Partners in Education/Small Business or Franchise

Etiwanda School District

Cucamonga Valley Water District, Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency

Rialto Unified School District

Dr. Cuauhtemoc Avila, superintendent, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Lea Michelle Cash, president and CEO of The Brightest Star, Inc., Volunteer in Action/Service Group

San Bernardino City Unified School District

Assistance League of San Bernardino, Volunteer in Action/Service Group

Erin Freeman, program facilitator and ASB director at Serrano Middle, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Ray Gallardo, vice principal at Arroyo Valley High, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Dr. Richard Hart, president of Loma Linda University Health, Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency

James McGarry and CR Tetlock, teachers and coaches, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Elizabeth Resmi Kackery, program specialist, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Thinkwise Credit Union, Partners in Education/Small Business or Franchise

Jesse Venegas, teacher at Arroyo Valley High School, Excellence in Education/Student Alumni

Dina Walker, president and CEO of BLU Foundation, Volunteer in Action/Service Group

Brian Willemse, program specialist and Common Core demonstration teacher, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Keynasia Buffong, chair of Inland Empire Alliance of Black School Educators, Volunteer in Action/Service Group

Dr. Jane Guttman, librarian media specialist and teacher, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Silver Valley Unified School District

Cynthia Anderson, kindergarten teacher at Newberry Springs Elementary, Excellence in Education/Education Professional

Danica Darden, volunteer at Fort Irwin Middle School, Volunteer in Action/Community Volunteer

Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District

Angie Nett, human resources manager for Sorensen Engineering, Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency

Travis Paye and team, captain of Cal Fire San Bernardino Unit-Station 552 – Crafton Hills, Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency

Jane Smith, Board of Education member, Excellence in Education/Education Professional